Mountain Lion In Missouri: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Mountain Lion In Missouri

Mountain lions are ambush creatures with dwindling inhabitants and currently, it is considered that roughly around 20,000-40,000 of these animals are in the United States. 

Some states do maintain a booming population of many thousand mountain lions, such as California. However, Missouri does not have any mountain lions living within its boundaries. 

Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the mountain lions in Missouri.

Are There Mountain Lion In Missouri?

Officially, the present population of mountain lions in Missouri is very less as they were extirpated in Missouri in the 1920s, indicating that they were eradicated and since then there have been no breeding inhabitants in the state.

However, there have been a few sightings of mountain lions within the borders of Missouri, but this does not indicate that the population in the state is recovering. The huge majority of the population of mountain lions that have been sighted in Missouri are the ones that have probably traveled from the neighboring states.

How Many Mountain Lions Are In Missouri?

In the past few years, there have been about 86 confirmed reports of sightings of mountain lions in Missouri. 

However, these animals seemingly migrated from the nearby western states. Also, male mountain lions typically leave their birth regions looking for territories of their own and frequently walk hundreds of miles. So, there is no proof of mountain lions establishing a breeding inhabitant within the state.

What Part Of Missouri Do Mountain Lions Live?

Mountain Lion In Missouri

The Missouri Department of Conservation has recorded the regions within the state in which mountain lions can be sighted in Missouri. Interestingly, the spottings of mountain lions are relatively spread out. Yet, there are a few regions of the state in which the sightings are more usual when compare to others.

In Missouri mountain lions are frequently sighted in the southeastern part of the state, south of the Mark Twain National Forest, and along the Current River. Another group of mountain lions can be spotted south of Springfield and north of the Ozark Plateau.

Apart from those regions, the sightings are mostly spread throughout the state. Though they still exhibit a preference for wooded, mountainous areas, and they can be spotted in about any ecosystem.

Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US

What To Do If You See A Mountain Lion In Missouri?

If you spot a mountain lion in Missouri, the best plan is to leave it isolated and leave the site. Usually, they avoid humans, but if you encounter one then you must stay calm by not making any hasty movements and move away from them without rushing. Give them plenty of space to escape and keep your eyes on them while moving away.

If you feel that you can in danger then you can make yourself look big by raising and waving your hands or using your clothes to extend your profile. 

But, never try to turn back or bend down to pick up anything as that can activate their predatory senses. If they behave aggressively, then shout in a loud, firm voice and begin throwing sticks or rocks, at the animal making it turn away.

What Kind Of Big Cats Are In Missouri?

Apart from mountain lions, the other big cat found in Missouri is the bobcat, which has a yellowish to reddish-brown striped coat with black spots.

They usually live in thick forest cover, preferably double-growth timber with vast underbrush, broken with clearings such as meadows and stony outcrops. 

They have long hind legs, with a small, broad face, and a bobbed tail. Their backs are prominent, and their ears are black with a light-colored spot.

They can weigh about 8 to 49 pounds and 18 to 50 inches in length with their tail being 3 to 8 inches. Bobcats and their dens are known for their very strong odor.

Can You Shoot A Mountain Lion In Missouri?

Though there are no specified trapping or hunting seasons allocated for mountain lions in Missouri, the “Owner Might Protect Property and Public Safety” law states that mountain lions can be trapped or killed under particular circumstances.

However, they cannot be killed without prior consent if they are killing or attacking domestic or livestock animals, or if they are risking human safety. 

Any mountain lion when harmed or killed under this law must be informed immediately to a representative of the Missouri Department of Conservation and the entire mountain lion remains, including skin, must be submitted to the representative within 24 hours.


And that was everything you need to know about the Mountain Lions In Missouri. I hope this article was infroamtive enough and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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